Western NSW students receive a Victor Chang School Science Award

DEDICATION: Trangie Central School students James Churchward and Shakirra Bock-Kemp with Dr Alastair Stewart from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (middle). Photo: Belinda Soole.
DEDICATION: Trangie Central School students James Churchward and Shakirra Bock-Kemp with Dr Alastair Stewart from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (middle). Photo: Belinda Soole.

Trangie Central School Year 11 students James Churchward and Shakirra Bock-Kemp have been awarded the prestigious Victor Chang School Science Award for excellence in the field of science. 

The pair are just two of thirteen Year 11 students from the Western NSW region to receive the award. 

The award is named after the late cardiac surgeon and aims to raise community awareness and appreciation of the important contribution scientists can make to our everyday lives.

Both Mr Churchward and Ms Bock-Kemp were excited to receive the award and said it demonstrates recognition for hard work. 

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“It feels pretty good, it means that people are acknowledging that you’re trying and it makes you want to try harder,” Mr Churchward said.

For Mr Churchward science is “intriguing” and hopes to go to university and continue to apply himself to the field, studying electrical engineering. 

“It’s very intriguing all the different concepts and how you can apply them to reality and use that later on in life,” he said. 

“I am thinking about going to university to do electrical engineering, and I hope to keep applying myself when I get there.”

Ms Bock-Kemp said she however was humbly honoured to be nominated along with Mr Churchward, who she said is her friendly competition at school.

“Since there are two Trangie students it was very much a shock, because they only usually take one.”

“So it felt really great being nominated especially with James because he’s up there,” she said. 

For Ms Bock-Kemp science reveals more about society and said she is continually learning more, which gives her a “blown away” feeling. 

“I think I just like knowing things I didn’t know, especially in Biology, such as evolution and Charles Darwin.”

“There’s a lot of stuff in science that when you actually look at it you didn’t really know about it before, you understood it but then you look at it in deeper detail and you’re just blown away, and I just really like that feeling,” she said. 

Ms Bock-Kemp said when she finishes school she hopes to go to university to study biomedical science or medical radiology. 

The recipients will join more than 200 students from across NSW on a tour of the Victor Chang Institute to learn first-hand from world-renowned scientists.

Dr Alastair Stewart from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute was the special guest at the event, which was held at Dubbo College Senior Campus on November 29.

In his address at the ceremony, Dr Stewart said hoped the students consider a career in science.

“I think it’s a really beautiful world to be in and we need more of these people, particularly as our society changes over the years to come,” Dr Stewart said.

“We need innovation in Australia… and hopefully we’ll be able to see some of you and host you in Sydney in a few weeks time...”